Elegy X: Ovid tells Graecinus, that he is fallen in love with a couple of ladies. By an unknown hand.What you affirm'd, my friend, is prov'd untrue,
That none at once could madly dote on two.
Deceiv'd, unarm'd, we Cupid soon o'ercame,
And I glow shameless with a double flame.
They both are fair, both dress'd so nicely well,
That the pre-eminence is hard to tell.
Sometimes for this, sometimes for that I burn,
And each more beauteous sparkles in her turn.
Each claims my passion, and my heart divides
As to and fro the doubtful galliot rides.
Here driven by winds, and there redriven by tides.
Why doubly chain'd ? was not a single fair
Enough to load me with perpetual care?
Why are more leaves brought to the shady wood,
Stars to the sky, or waters to the flood ?
Yet better so than not to love at all;
Still on my foes may such dull blessings fall.
May they, insipidly supine, be spread
Along the middle of a widowed bed;
While I with sprightliness love's vigil's keep,
Stretch'd out for something far more sweet than sleep.
Others from ruin fly, to mine I run,
To be by women pleasingly undone,
Longing for two, since undestroy'd by one.
Still let my slender limbs for love suffice;
I want no nerves, but want the bulky size.
My limbs, tho' lean are not in vain display'd;
From me no female ever rose a maid.
Oft have I, when a luscious night was spent,
Saluted morn, nor cloy'd nor impotent.
Happy, who gasps in love his latest breath;
Give me, ye gods, so softly sweet a death !
Let the rough warriors grapple on the plain,
And with their blood immortal honour gain;
Let the vile miser plough for wealth the deep,
And, shipwrek'd in the unfatbom'd waters, sleep
May Venus grant me but my last desire,
In the full height of rapture to expire.
Perhaps some friend, with kindly dew supplied,
Weeping will say, "As Ovid liv'd, he died."